Does fear of software stop you from trying digital marketing ideas?

Are you comfortable around software? Do you find it easy to learn? Would your business attract more customers if you could master the art of using marketing software?

Digital marketing has brought us new ways to communicate with customers. Every day, new apps, platforms and functionality are launched by software developers.

On the one hand, you want to promote your services / products. On the other hand, there is the continual requirement to learn new software, isn’t there? Having spent hours or days learning WordPress, SEO, Google AdWords, MailChimp etc you may not get the results that you are after. Some initiatives work, some don’t. The important thing is to keep learning.

For some people, fear of failure can stop progress, when it comes to software. It can all feel overwhelming at times, can’t it?

You can watch YouTube videos, read blogs, buy books or go on courses. Alternatively, you can outsource some or all of your requirements.

Personally, I invest two days of my time every month learning new software. This is challenging, as I am always busy.

How about you: what was the last piece of software that you spent time with? How was the experience for you?

It’s not what happens to you that counts, it’s how you handle what happens to you. Thomas J Watson Senior, the founder of IBM said that the formula to success is easy: simply double your rate of failure. Don’t fear failure: learn from it.

I wish you great success with your software journey.

By the way, if you would like some marketing software training, I may be able to help.

Is it time to give up? 7 reasons not to quit!

Do you ever ask yourself whether it is time to give up? I think that we all ask ourselves this question, from time to time. Almost always, the answer is “No, don’t give up yet.” Life has a natural rhythm and, as you know, some days are better than others. Are you just having a bad day or a bad run of luck, like Abraham Lincoln did (see below)? Maybe one thing after another has gone wrong and you’re thinking of quitting your job, business, relationship, passsion, whatever.

Has ‘quitting early’ become a habit? If it has, it is a bad habit. Success takes tenacity. If you talk to other people about quitting, you will see patterns emerging. It is difficult to stick with a challenge through thick and thin (I know, I have been there).

By the way, I am not talking about bad habits (i.e. smoking).

Here are 7 reasons not to quit:

1.  Stickability is character forming. As coach Vince Lombardi said: “Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win.”

2.  This is your reputation we’re talking about. Being known as a quitter is not great from a personal branding point of view.

3.  Staying in the game is a learning opportunity. Adversity brings deep learning opportunities.

4.  If you quit too soon, you will never achieve mastery. If you have done it one area, it becomes easier to achieve it in another area.

5.  Life is a long series of problems. Or, as I would prefer to put this: “Life is a long series of challenges.” We all face them. Some people learn how to solve them as they arise, which in turn means that they are better equipped to overcome bigger hurdles.

6.  You learn more about yourself in adversity.  Remember that bad times don’t last.

7.  It’s you, not the world.  As the world keeps throwing challenges at you – there is a message here, isn’t there? The world is saying: “As long as you live, there’ll be problems; life is not about the problems: it is how you react to them.”

Here is what happened to Abraham Lincoln:
1816: Family evicted from their home. He found work to support them.
1818: Mother dies.
1831: He fails in business.
1832: Linkcoln runs for state legislature and loses.
1832: Lost his job and fails to get into law school.
1833: Borrowed money and ends up bankrupt. Takes 17 years paying off this debt (to a friend).
1834: Ran for state legislature; this time he wins.
1835: Engaged to be married but his fiancee dies.
1836: Has a nervous breakdown; in in bed for 6 months.
1838: Tries to become speaker of the state legislature. Fails.
1840: Tries to become elector. Fails.
1843: Runs for Congress. Fails.
1846: Runs for Congress. Wins.
1848: Runs for re-election to Congress.  Fails.
1849  Applies for land officer job. Fails.
1854: Runsn for Senate of the United States. Fails.
1856: Seeks Vice-Presidential nomination – receives under 100 votes.
1858: Runsn for U.S. Senate again. Loses.
1860: Elected president of the United States.

At what stage would you have given up?

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Fear of failure

To a large extent, success in business is all about your ability to handle the fear of failure. The more you take the initiative and do stuff, the more likely it is that you will fail.

I have been involved in sales and marketing for a quarter of a century.

During this time, I have witnessed great successes and great failures. The millionaires I have worked with know that failure is a feedback mechanism. “OK, so that approach didn’t work out. Let’s try another way of doing this,” they respond.

If you are an internet marketer, you will know all about the fear of failure. High bounce rates, poor responses to email marketing, SEO results which keep on changing – the list is endless. Some things work, some things crash and burn. The important thing is to keep learning from the endless feedback loop which comprises the internet.

If you are selling professional services, you need to get in front of prospective clients. Do you have a CRM system? Does it contain thousands of contact details? Do you have a promotional mix which enables you to keep in touch with dormant, current and prospective clients? Are you picking up the phone and talking to people? Are you filling your diary with sales meetings?

Recently, I have been picking up the phone and talking to members of The Marketing Compass, which is a group  of small business owners who are interested in marketing. I have heard some amazing stories, regarding the recessionary years we have just been through (and are hopefully now emerging from). “I lost most of my clients last year,” a member told me. “I knew that it wasn’t my fault. So I picked myself up, dusted myself off and took your advice. I kept adding to my list of contacts and I kept in touch with them. I chose the ones I really wanted to work with. I kept asking them questions and I suggested helpful ways that they could improve their business. Two of them have now signed me up for on-going work. As you keep telling me Nigel: never give up.”

As the saying goes, it’s not what happens to you that counts, it’s how you handle what happens to you. Thomas J Watson Senior, the founder of IBM said that the formula to success is easy: simply double your rate of failure. Don’t fear failure: learn from it. I wish you great success with everything that you do.

If you have any questions about the fear of failure, just ask!